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Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review

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Combining Land Capability Evaluation, Geographic Information Systems, AnD Indigenous Technologies for Soil Conservation in Northern Ethiopia

Belay Tegene

Abstract


A framework for soil conservation planning is proposed by combining land capability evaluation, geographic information systems (GIS), and indigenous conservation technologies for use in the northern Ethiopian highlands. The applicability of the framework was tested in a typical agricultural micro-watershed, i.e., the Gido watershed of South Welo. Land capability and land use status were established following the procedures of a modified treatment-oriented capability classification using GIS. The case study recommends contour-furrows and broad-based terraces on 40.67 per cent (capability unit C1), broad- to narrow-based terraces on 17.57 per cent (C2-C4), and intensive narrow-based to bench terraces on 31.95 per cent (C2/P & C3/P) of the cultivated land. The rest of the cropland is not at all suitable for annual cropping, and hence, should be put out of production. Where terraces are recommended, acceptance by farmers is ensured not only by developing the structures from indigenous technologies (i.e., ‘Weber' and ‘Kab' or ‘Kirit'), but also by adopting various strategies to increase their economic advantages and profitability.


(Eastern Africa Social Science Research Review: 2003 19 (2):23-54)



http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eas.2003.0008
AJOL African Journals Online